Hygge – (pronounced Hoo-gaa)
A Danish word that cannot be translated to one single English word, but encompasses the feeling of coziness, contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life.
As the spring days lengthen into summer, and the sun and warm weather finally make an appearance, the average person does not have hygge on their mind. Hygge is usually associated with the long, cold winter months, but it is an important concept to consider, no matter the time of year. Hygge can help to bring peace of mind and contentment to both your personal and work life.
So, how do you create hygge in your home and workplace? The key is to surround yourself with the things (and people) you love!
For almost 28 years now I have been at the same job, and recently realized the impersonal cubicle I was spending 40 hours a week in lacked hygge, so I decided to do something about it!
I started by having John build me a custom monitor stand which I painted a pretty bluey-green colour….a huge improvement over the stacks of paper that I used to use…and I added an inspirational quote I would see every day. A pretty crystal dish to hold my paperclips and an old painted sewing machine drawer for “office supplies” were the next additions. Even these little changes made such a difference to my day….they made me smile – and if just those little changes made such a positive change, added hygge to my little cubicle, I wanted more!
Every week I changed things just a little. I figured out how to hang things on the walls of my cubicle using hooks made out of paperclips, and added a pretty photograph taken by John that I have always loved. A small plant (real), a glass vase filled with pretty seasonal flowers (fake, so I don’t have to worry about constantly replacing them), a small lamp with a warm white bulb, and an inbox painted the same colour as my monitor stand add to the feeling of hygge. There have been lots of other additions, and when I go to work now, my cubicle makes me smile.
Hygge can be different things for different people, but it is all about how your environment makes you feel. So this spring, as you visit the nursery for flowers for your garden, or go shopping for new shelves for the kitchen, ask yourself if what you are choosing to surround yourself with creates hygge…are you surrounding yourself with all the things you love? If the answer is no, why not?
Hygge really can bring peace of mind and contentment to your life. Stress is much easier to deal with when you walk in the door and everything around you makes you feel like you are “home”. Hygge creates a sanctuary to retreat to, and can even make going to work every day just a little bit easier!